The Critical Alert Blog
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2 Ways Culture, Technology and Facilities Impact Nurse Retention

by Kourtney Govro

The perfect storm hit our healthcare organizations over the last few years and only seems to be gaining momentum.   There is a surge of retirements and a rapid increase of those leaving the field altogether, and fewer workers can enter the field due to a lack of available educators. Containment of the exodus and gathering the available quality workers are the two most critical focuses’ of CNOs today.  How do they do it? Healthcare organizations need to identify how their culture, facility, and technology attract new employees and serve existing employees well.  This blog will address how technology can impact employee acquisition and retention.

First, look at the technology and applications your employees and potential employees use daily. Create a simple questionnaire that is available both digitally and is administered by managers during huddle.  Here are some questions you may want to ask.

  • What are some of the technologies you use at home or in your daily life? (*Yes, it’s a simple question and VERY broad on purpose.) Make sure to provide some examples. 
  • Do you currently own a smartphone?More than 95% of the US population owns a cellular phone and 85%+ own a smartphone. Ironically, only 50% of US hospitals offer smartphones for their staff.
  • Do you currently own or use a pedometer or home monitor? Smart watches, Fitbit, etc.
  • What is your favorite app on your smartphone and why?
  • What app do you use the most and why?
  • How often do you use a computer outside of work? The use of a laptop or computer has significantly declined in the last 5 years. 
  • What websites, tools, or apps do you use on your computer outside of work and why?

These questions may seem rudimentary, but the information that will be collected will reveal a powerful understanding of how you can strategically design a technology environment to attract and retain staff.  Here is an example, a restaurant application is not only about efficiency.  It enables customization on a grand scale.  The ability to click in and adjust their order, add notes, and even set delivery time is important. So the tenet you can add to your evaluation is customization or workflow and request. How does the application or technology you are evaluating provide customization ability for the staff?  Second, evaluate how those applications provide added services to your staff. For example, most restaurant apps learn the orders and customizations that are most used by the user. How does the app learn from the choices made? 

So how do you use this as part of your employee acquisition strategy? Make sure to share your technology tools at recruiting events, tours, and invite the public to see how it is used.  As a mom of a nursing student he is looking at what tools a hospital has, how will it make his job easier, and how will it enable is ability to serve patients. 

1. Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States | Pew Research Center

2.  Study: Smartphone, tablet use on the rise in hospitals | Fierce Healthcare

Kourtney Govro

Kourtney Govro

Strategic Advisor

Kourtney Govro has over 20 years of experience in the nurse call business. At just 6 years old she was introduced to the idea when her father became a nurse call distributor. Since then, her love for transforming the nurse call industry has continued to grow. Leading her to start her own successful company, Sphere3,  a consulting company that supported hospitals with decisions around leveraging technology to transform the care environment. Critical Alert acquired Sphere3 in 2019 and Kourtney joined the team as a Strategic Advisor.